Our Story

In 2003, Susan Barr walked away from a successful career as a CPA to pursue her first love—dance instruction. Drawing on the same confidence she instills in her students every day, Susan launched Above the Barre as a one-room dance studio. With her unique ability to combine art, athletics, discipline and fun—a rare formula that helps build a superior educational foundation for children—the dance studio flourished. And in 2008, Susan added gymnastics to Above the Barre, insisting on the same high level of professionalism that made her dance program so successful. Her gymnastics program gained so much national respect that Above the Barre now hosts two USAG-sanctioned gymnastics meets annually.

Today, Above the Barre Dance and Gymnastics has grown to become Northeast Ohio’s premier dance and gymnastics facility featuring more than 40 instructors and coaches who are dedicated to serving almost 1,000 students annually.

Even with this impressive growth, the culture at Above the Barre remains rooted in that first one-room dance studio. Every child receives one-on-one attention and personal progress reports—fueling the self-confidence that comes from personal accomplishment.

Click on the link to take a virtual tour of our dance studio and gym and get a glimpse of all we have to offer.

Virtual Tour

Meet Owner Susan Barr

Owner and Artistic Director Susan Barr has been a dance instructor for 23 years. She is a member of Dance Masters of America and Dance Masters of Ohio, and holds certification in tap, ballet and jazz as recognized through Dance Masters of America. A graduate of Dance Master of America Teacher Training School, Susan also is an active member of the Cecchetti Council of America and has achieved certification of the Elementary Professional V level as according to the Cecchetti Ballet system. Susan enjoys keeping up with the latest styles of dance teaching techniques by attending numerous dance conventions and workshops around the nation for the enhancement of dance education.

Susan also is a professional member of the USA Gymnastics and is Safety Certified. Above the Barre hosts two USAG-sanctioned gymnastics meets annually: Masquerade Extravaganza and a Boys AAU meet. Susan has choreographed community theatre for Music Man, Oklahoma!, and Carousel.

Susan attended Grove City College where she earned a Bachelor of Science and Accounting degree. Susan lives with her husband, Jim, and three daughters in North Ridgeville. “Dancing has been a part of my life since I was 8 years old,” Susan shares. “And I still get really inspired watching the kids grow up and attain goals they never thought possible. I love to see it come together for the kids—that precious light bulb moment.”

Leadership Team

Susan Barr

Susan Barr

Owner and Artistic Director Susan Barr has been a dance instructor for 23 years. She is a member of Dance Masters of America and Dance Masters of Ohio. Susan holds certification in tap, ballet, and jazz as recognized through Dance Masters of America.

Courtny Hermman

Courtny Hermman

Our Gymnastics Rec Manger, Courtny grew up with Gymnastics being her focus since she was 5 years old right here in Northeast Ohio. She trained all the way up to Level 8 and has since been coaching since 2003 and joined the Above the Barre family in 2008 teaching Super Star and Rising Star Gymnastics, Pre-Team, USAG Level 2 and Competitive AAU. Courtney is USAG, CPR, Concussion Safety Certified and completed a Positive Coaching course. The best part of coaching for Courtney is working with kids and seeing them come in every week excited to practice, “their little smiles brighten up my day!” When she has free time, Courtney loves to bake, and is pretty good at it.

Jeff Vacha

Jeff Vacha

Jeff has spent over 30 years in this building and has been a coach here since 2008. He was a college gymnast at the University of Illinois in Chicago and has been coaching since 1997. Jeff loves this sport and everything it does for children’s strength, confidence and most importantly, having fun. He is USAG Safety Certified and is actually a registered professional disc golfer. In his free time, he loves to snowboard and throw Frisbees.

Nina Lupica

Nina Lupica

Nina first joined the Above the Barre family in August of 2016. She started her education in dance at the age of just 2 years old after watching neighborhood friends dancing outside. Trying to mimic what they were doing, she begged her parents for classes. Ms. Nina trained strictly in Cecchetti Ballet as well as jazz, tap and lyrical. She took classes and attended conventions from well known choreographers and dancers such as Brian Friedman, Mia Micheals, Francisco Gella and many others. Just one of her many accomplishments in dance was tapping alongside Sarah Savelli, Ayodele Casel and Savion Glover for a holiday performance in New York City. Nina’s love for teaching starts all with the kids; instructing them on how to grow in their dance and also into respectable young adults. What she enjoys most about teaching here at ATB are the kids technique classes where they practice future performances; she loves teaching these classes as much as she enjoys watching them. Fun fact about Nina, she was born with a full head of black hair and even had her first haircut at just 4 months old.

Katie Lyons

Katie Lyons

Katie has been a part of the Above the Barre family for a long time. She started dancing in 1998 and started as a dance instructor here in 2011 teaching tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary dance. Katie is certified in tap, jazz, and ballet through Dance Masters of America and Ohio Dance Masters; as well as certifications through Cecchetti Council of America. She has participated in Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School and the Cecchetti Council of Americas International Summer School as a student and a counselor. Katie is a great asset to ATB due to her love of teaching and sharing her passion of dance with her students, “I love watching them learn new things, practice with them, and perfect them.” Even though she is busy here teaching, Katie recently received her Bachelor’s degree in Middle School Education. When she is able to get some free time, Katie enjoys babysitting, watching TV, reading, drawing, but most of all being a part of the Above the Barre family and “getting to work with such awesome people.”

Joanne Fornaro

Joanne Fornaro

Joanne has been coaching Gymnastics for over 28 years and hold a degree in Sports Medicine and Dance. During this time, she has coached to local, State, Regional and National titles in AAU and USAG sanctioned competitions in levels 3 – 10 in both team and individual events. Joanne has also produced several National TOP’s team members. In addition to private club, she has also coached high school gymnastics and produced State qualify teams and individuals as well as conference champions. Joanne has earned numerous coaching awards including, “Medina Country Coach of the Year” and “Pioneer Conference Coach of the Year.” She is a professional member of USA Gymnastics, Amateur Athletic Union and holds a number of coaching and judging certifications through USAG University. Joanne is also USAG Safety, CPR and AED certified. She is happily married with three children that also train here at Above the Barre in the Dance and Gymnastics programs. Her passion is right here at ATB working with our awesome coaching staff and training her students to become wonderful athletes.

Office Support Staff

Susan Barr

Susan Barr

Owner and Artistic Director Susan Barr has been a dance instructor for 23 years. She is a member of Dance Masters of America and Dance Masters of Ohio. Susan holds certification in tap, ballet, and jazz as recognized through Dance Masters of America.

Brigette Ross

Brigette Ross

Accounts Receivable Manager, Brigette, has been a part of the Above the Barre family since 2010; however, her daughter Claudia has been training here since 2006. Her two youngest children also take classes here at ATB. Olmsted Falls is where she calls home where lives there with her husband and 3 active children. Brigette jokes, “When I’m not in the office, you’ll probably find me on the soccer field.”

CarShena Maddox

CarShena Maddox

CarShena started working at the front desk at Above the Barre in 2016, but has been a part of the ATB family since 2009 when her daughter started dancing here. In addition, her youngest son started gymnastics in 2011 and now also doing dance here. Her oldest son, Carlin, is our very own Hip Hop Instructor since 2014. CarShena is proud to have her family here at Above the Barre, but not as happy as we are. When CarShena isn’t helping out at the front desk, she loves to spend time with her family and take vacations on cruise ships.

Cora Kaufhold

Cora Kaufhold

Cora has been working with Above the Barre in varying degrees since the doors opened in 2003. She has enjoyed taking part in creating graphics, marketing and even altering costumes for the Dance Company. Her four daughters have all grown up at ATB dancing doing gymnastics and now the youngest is working hard in the gym on her ninja skills. She and her husband Tom live in North Ridgeville and enjoy spending time with family and friends when not working or driving kids around.

Donna Brinker

Donna Brinker

Donna is the Office Manager Assistant and has been working at Above the Barre since 2013. Donna has many duties, but her main focus is excellent customer service. Her daughter is a former ATB student and is now attending University of Akron majoring in dance. Donna resides in Grafton Township, where she raised her two children with her husband of 28 years. When Donna is not working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

Makenna Kaufhold

Makenna Kaufhold

Makenna starting dancing at Above the Barre when she was just 3 years old. Due to corrective surgery, she has had to put dance on hold, but couldn’t stay away; she has been working at the front desk at ATB since 2015. Makenna is a high school student and also attends LCCC starting her college credits to become an Orthopedic Surgeon. When she’s not busy with school and work, Makenna enjoys spending time with her friends and anything wrapped in bacon!

Lisa Yesko

Lisa Yesko

Lisa is Above the Barre's Customer Service Manager. She joined our staff with over 25 years of customer service experience including over 4 years of office management experience in the customer service industry.

Dance Teachers

All ATB staff is concussion certified and background checked!

Susan Barr

Susan Barr

Owner and Artistic Director Susan Barr has been a dance instructor for 23 years. She is a member of Dance Masters of America and Dance Masters of Ohio. Susan holds certification in tap, ballet, and jazz as recognized through Dance Masters of America.

Amanda Recko

Amanda Recko

Amanda was born and raised right here in the Cleveland area and now resides in Avon, Ohio. Amanda has been with Above the Barre since 2005 and has 30 plus years’ experience and training under her belt in dance. Amanda attended both Kent State and University of Toledo where she studied and majored in Dance. She was a member of KSU Dance Flash Force and Captain of the Toledo Rockettes and is currently a proud member of DMA Chapter #16 and Ohio Dance Masters. She also studied and assisted at Broadway Dance Center in New York City and at The Edge in LA. Amanda has performed as a dancer, singer and a magician’s assistant throughout the U.S. and abroad; also spending six summers and 8 fall seasons performing at Cedar Point Amusement Park. You can see her cutting edge, award-winning work in theaters, amusement parks and local studios throughout North America. Her teaching accolades include numerous regional and nation competitive Choreography & Technique Awards. Just some of her many awards for her performances include “Best Female Performer” IAPPA 2005-2007 and “Best Actress in a Musical” by The Scene. All of Amanda’s students are taught to practice what you perform, be confident, be committed, and of course have fun.

Ashley Barr

Ashley Barr

Bio coming soon!

Carla Pizzola

Carla Pizzola

Carla joined us here at Above the Barre in 2015 teaching Jazz Lyrical Ballet and Acro. Carla started dancing when she was just three years old and has over 25 years’ experience with competitive dance and performing. While attending Point Park College, she earned her degree in Dance with a concentration on Ballet and Jazz. Carla was also a member of the Pittsburgh Tap Ensemble and performed in multiple shows including “The Nutcracker” with the Ohio Ballet Theater and “The Jazz Nutcracker” with PoPC and spring show cases. Due to her love of dance and commitment, she has been awarded numerous scholarships and awards for dance and choreography. Here at ATB, Carla fell in love with teaching due to watching her students grow and excel all while having a smile on their faces, “I love watching that lightbulb go off when they get something right; and then to watch them live their dreams while dancing on cruise-lines, college dance teams and even going pro.” Not only is Carla a great asset here at ATB as a dance instructor, but she also is a talented hair stylist in Independence, OH. When she’s not at the dance studio or salon, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children where they live in Westlake.

Carlin Dixon

Carlin Dixon

Above the Barre’s Hip Hop, Boy’s Next, and Adult Hip Hop classes has the pleasure of having Carlin be the instructor since 2014. Carlin has achieved many accomplishments working with different organizations, the performing arts and helping others. At Berea Mid Park High School, he was a part of the Theater program, Concert Choir, Key Club, program director for the Annual Black History Celebration and the peer mediation program. In just his first year of college at Write State University, Carlin became Vice President of his freshman class for the Black Student Union and led many events throughout the year including a suicide prevention event. He was a part of an award-winning dance group and was voted to be Chaplian for two Christian organizations on campus, one being a Gospel choir. At his home church, and many other in Cleveland, Carlin has choreographed and coordinated dance ministries, including his own Team Victory and for the guys Dance Too Program with the Cleveland Ballet. With life lessons and excellent dance moves, his teaching style is very inspiring to those in his class and is “honored to be part of the ATB family.”

Christina Barr

Christina Barr

Christina is a professional dancer who loves working with Above the Barre. When she graduated highschool, Christina got accepted into the Broadway Dance Center Professional Semester in New York City. Christina has been spotted in multiple music videos, countless dance magazines, and numerous YouTube videos. She recently fulfilled a contract with Tokyo Disney preforming in King Triton’s Concert 2017-2018. Christina loves to inspire children to live their dreams and push themselves to be the best version of themselves.

Denise Bryant

Denise Bryant

Denise Bryant has over 42 years of teaching experience. Denise has danced both on stage and on television. For 24 years she owned and operated the Denise Bryant Studio of Dance in Tallmadge. Denise is now happy to be sharing her knowledge of dance with several students in various locations. She is currently serving as President of Ohio Dance Masters and is also a member of Dance Masters of America, and the Cecchetti Council of America (where she serves as Scholarship Chairperson). Denise choreographed Bye, Bye Birdie for Tallmadge High School and Fiddler On the Roof, Oliver, My Fair Lady and The Wizard of Oz for The Dynamics, an intergenerational theater group in Tallmadge. Denise has taught Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Acro, Modern and Lyrical. She participates in workshops and master classes to continue learning about this living art we call Dance.

Emily Kaiser

Emily Kaiser

Emily has been a great addition to the Above the Barre family since 2014, but has been teaching dance since 2003 including master classes around the Midwest. Her impressive resume starts in high school and college where she performed in many shows including “Footloose”, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, “Grease”, and played Peep Bo in the opera “The Mikado.” At Slippery Rock University, Emily earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with an emphasis on Vocal performance. She also was the director for Jayson Michaels’ Energy Source Dance Association, a national company that travels around the United States offering master classes, workshops, and intensives in all styles of dance as well as music and voice. The Energy Source focused on the importance of technique and versatility that starts at the age of 3 and goes up through the professional level. Emily taught all styles of dance at JMESDA, including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and Michaels’ Technique to all age levels. After dancing at Mary Kay Manning Dance Studio, Emily became an assistant dance teacher who quickly got her own dance classes. She started a Show Choir program, directed and organized summer camps, became the lead preschool teacher and taught many disciplines of dance to many age groups. In addition to dance, Emily is also a music teacher and director at St. Dominic School in Shaker Heights as well as the K-2 Spanish teacher.

Erianna Raib-Ptichkin

Erianna Raib-Ptichkin

Eri Raib-Ptichkin is a well-trained and experienced dance teacher from the Youngstown, Ohio area. In addition to over twenty years of dance training, Ms. Eri has studied extensively at the collegiate level, receiving both a B.A. and B.S from Youngstown State University. As an active member of of Ohio Dance Masters and Dance Masters of America, she continues to teach the art of dance in local high schools, private studios, and state universities. Ms. Eri joined the ATB family in 2013, and looks forward to sharing another year on the dance floor with the students and staff of Above The Barre!

Erika Hunt

Erika Hunt

Erika, Northeast Ohio native, has been a ballet and pointe instructor here at Above the Barre since 2011. She began her training in 1990 at the University of Akron Dance Institute. While there, Erika had the pleasure of working with some very talented instructors including, Tatyana and Roman Mazur, Richard Dickinson, Jane Startzman, Lana Carroll, Andrew Carroll, Ana Lobe, MaryAnn Black, Amy Miller and Christina Foisie. Erika supplemented her early training with summer studies at both Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and Jennifer Muller/The Works. Erika continued her education at the University of Akron and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelors Degree of Fine Arts in 2008. Erika has performed in multiple professional and pre-professional capacities throughout Northeast Ohio including Ohio Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, University of Akron Dance Company and appearances regionally as a guest artist. Erika’s training and experience shows through to her students, providing them with the correct tools to succeed in dance.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly has been a member of Above The Barre's Dance Company for almost 15 years! She is a senior at Olmsted Falls High School with plans to graduate and attend Kent State University to pursue a degree in Managerial Marketing. Grace started off with assisting a variety of classes here and now teaches acrobatics weekly. Along with dancing, Grace is also a Olmsted Falls Varsity and Competitive cheerleader!

Jessica Barr

Jessica Barr

Jessica, the celebrated Miss Dance of Ohio 2013, is a competition instructor and choreographer. “I started gymnastics really young, then dance when I was 4, and I just haven’t stopped dancing,” shares Jessica, who’s currently a senior at North Ridgeville High School. When asked what she does when she’s not dancing, Jessica simply says, “Literally, dancing is all that I do.”

Jesica Dete

Jesica Dete

Jessica has been dancing since the age of 3 and is a proud dance company alumni of Above the Barre. In 2013 and 2016 she achieved her childhood dream of working as a character performer and parade performer for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Jessica is very excited to be teaching at the studio that gave her all the tools she needed to achieve her dreams and loves sharing her passion for dance to her students and watching them achieve their own goals.

Katie Lyons

Katie Lyons

Katie has been a part of the Above the Barre family for a long time. She started dancing in 1998 and started as a dance instructor here in 2011 teaching tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary dance. Katie is certified in tap, jazz, and ballet through Dance Masters of America and Ohio Dance Masters; as well as certifications through Cecchetti Council of America. She has participated in Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School and the Cecchetti Council of Americas International Summer School as a student and a counselor. Katie is a great asset to ATB due to her love of teaching and sharing her passion of dance with her students, “I love watching them learn new things, practice with them, and perfect them.” Even though she is busy here teaching, Katie recently received her Bachelor’s degree in Middle School Education. When she is able to get some free time, Katie enjoys babysitting, watching TV, reading, drawing, but most of all being a part of the Above the Barre family and “getting to work with such awesome people.”

Kristin Daniel

Kristin Daniel

Kristin Daniel, an accomplished artist in her own right, became enamored with performing at a very young age. Knowing she wanted to pursue her passion for the arts, she moved to Los Angeles after graduating from The University of Louisiana-Lafayette in Business Administration to work as a professional dancer. Working between Los Angeles and New Orleans, Kristin earned several credits, including: GLEE, Grey’s Anatomy, Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova” music video, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. She worked as Choreographer for ABC’s The Astronaut Wives Club and Assistant to choreographers Tyce Diorio and Lindsay Nelko on the hit show “So You Think You Can Dance?”. In addition to traveling the country Choreographing, conducting Master Classes, and judging competitions, Kristin is now in her third year of owning her own business, Distinction Arts Co., which hosts her annual dance intensive & charity organization fundraiser: Distinction Dance Intensive. constantly immersing herself into her craft, she is thrilled and excited to continue furthering her career as an artistic force in the industry.

Monica Olejko

Monica Olejko

Monica, known to the Above the Barre family as “Miss Mo” has been teaching dance for over 40 years and has been with us at ATB since 2007. With training in tap, ballet, jazz and ethnic dancing, Miss Mo has been choreographing musicals for all ages from preschool to high school in professional theatres for over 30 years. She also studied in New York with Wayne Ciliento, Onna White, Tommy Tune, Alvin Ailey and Graziela Daniele; also including the study of African movement and dance while in Zimbabwe, Africa while performing for the Harare International Arts Festival. She also choreographed the Olympic Diving and Acrobatic show at Sea World. This award winning performer continues to choreograph and direct theatre right here in Ohio. Miss Mo keeps busy and is a voice-over artist for American Greetings and Little Tyke Toys. When Miss Mo isn’t dancing or directing, she loves to spend time with her grandchildren, “They are the reason I was born.”

Nina Lupica

Nina Lupica

Nina first joined the Above the Barre family in August of 2016. She started her education in dance at the age of just 2 years old after watching neighborhood friends dancing outside. Trying to mimic what they were doing, she begged her parents for classes. Ms. Nina trained strictly in Cecchetti Ballet as well as jazz, tap and lyrical. She took classes and attended conventions from well known choreographers and dancers such as Brian Friedman, Mia Micheals, Francisco Gella and many others. Just one of her many accomplishments in dance was tapping alongside Sarah Savelli, Ayodele Casel and Savion Glover for a holiday performance in New York City. Nina’s love for teaching starts all with the kids; instructing them on how to grow in their dance and also into respectable young adults. What she enjoys most about teaching here at ATB are the kids technique classes where they practice future performances; she loves teaching these classes as much as she enjoys watching them. Fun fact about Nina, she was born with a full head of black hair and even had her first haircut at just 4 months old.

Rachel Magliola

Rachel Magliola

Dance Manager Rachel has been a part of the Above the Barre family since 2007 and is responsible for managing and setting the direction of the preschool and developmental programs. She instructs dance from Preschool Dance to Teen Dance and much more in between. Coming from a family of dancers and performers, Rachel has a long resume with her experience and training. She trained under her mother Margaret Holden and later studied dance at the University of Akron where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Art in Dance. Rachel has studied the Kostrovitskaya Pedagogical method with Dr. Peggy Willis-Aarnio and worked with choreographers Michael Medcalf, Garry Abbott, Peter Kalivas, Germaul Barnes, Linda Kahn and Young Park. She is also a former member of Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theater and worked with Tap Cleveland. Rachel’s performance experience includes musical theatre productions in New York, Tennessee, and Northeast Ohio. She is a certified member of Dance Masters of America and Cecchetti Council of America. Her goal in teaching every class is that every child gets the same chance and attention to learn skills and to most importantly, to have lots of fun.

Tori Taylor

Tori Taylor

Bio Coming Soon

Gymnastic Coaches

All ATB staff is concussion certified and background checked!

Alex Gili

Alex Gili

Alex Gili is our proud Ninja Master who started working here in 2016! He is our number one instructor for our Ninja program and continues to come up with unique American Ninja Warrior- style obstacle courses. Alex is 19 years old and has been tricking professionally for 5 years. You can see him downtown at the Q performing as a member of the acrobatic freestyle ducking team, The C-Town Throwdown, for the Cleveland Cavaliers! When Alex is not working or tricking, he plays drums in a band called Floasia and enjoys longboarding with his friends! Alex's passion for the sport shows through in his classes where he continues to teach others how to master the art of flipping and tricking!

Anthony Covatta

Anthony Covatta

After attending our Adult Open Gym for years where he has found such joy, Coach Anthony joined the family at ATB in the beginning of our 2016/2017 Season, and he has been a great addition. Anthony first started in gymnastics after he watched the 1992 Olympic Games and fell in love with the sport. He has trained in Tumbling and Trampolines at Stanford Foster Academy of Gymnatics in Wickliffe, OH; being the youngest Advanced Gymnasts in his training group. Anthony knows how much it means to all of our students here to get their skills down; being able to facilitate self pride and contribute to future gymnasts. Here at Above the Barre is where Anthony found solace as a teenager and has remained that ever since. “ATB has been a special place to me, and always will be. I’ve just finally become a real part of it and that makes me very happy”. Not only does Anthony have the skills in Gymnastics, but he has also accomplished being a Singer/Songwriter with his music available on iTunes and an Award Winning Actor for his performance as Tom Collins in the Musical Rent.

Brittany Garfalo

Brittany Garfalo

Brittney started working at with us in October 2016, but started training personal goals here in the adult open gym in 2014. Since childhood, she has always had a huge passion for gymnastics and was naturally talented, copying videos and televised gymnastics meets until she started tumbling classes. Brittney has been a preschool teacher for over six years, so when the opportunity to coach the sport she loves came up, she couldn't say no! Above The Barre is very special to her from the very start because its a family environment that feels like home. "The support of the coaches and staff with families and students, is undoubtedly the best part of ATB" When Brittney is not coaching, she loves to spend all her time with her daughter and boyfriend. She is studying to one day become a physical therapist.

Chyann Berendsen

Chyann Berendsen

Chyann Berendsen Started November 2016 Currently teaches Preschool Beginner, Advanced, Super Star, Rising Star, Shooting Star, Girls Levels 1 & 2 Started dancing at ATB in 2013, joined Dance Company in 2014, and now enjoys coaching. She loves to bake and binge watch Netflix!

Courtny Hermman

Courtny Hermman

Our Gymnastics Rec Manger, Courtny grew up with Gymnastics being her focus since she was 5 years old right here in Northeast Ohio. She trained all the way up to Level 8 and has since been coaching since 2003 and joined the Above the Barre family in 2008 teaching Super Star and Rising Star Gymnastics, Pre-Team, USAG Level 2 and Competitive AAU. Courtney is USAG, CPR, Concussion Safety Certified and completed a Positive Coaching course. The best part of coaching for Courtney is working with kids and seeing them come in every week excited to practice, “their little smiles brighten up my day!” When she has free time, Courtney loves to bake, and is pretty good at it.

Daiquiri Hermman

Daiquiri Hermman

Daiquiri Herrman joined gymnastics when she was 9 years old after watching the 1996 Olympics and wanted to be the next Olympian! She was a competitive gymnasts through level 8, and also did high school gymnastics. As a level 5 she qualified and competed on the OHIO All star Team (to represent ohio's gymnasts/ individual award not team or gym). She started coaching at 15 years old and has coached for 14 years. Daiquiri has coached preschool through level 6; with her main focus on levels 3/4/5. She absolutely loves the sport of gymnastics and the qualities it helps build in young girls! The gym is a second home to her and she would love to help create that environment to all of our gymnasts at ATB! Outside of gym - Daiquiri is a Cleveland State Graduate with a BA in Arts Education, she was a High School art teacher @ North Olmsted High School for 2017/18 year and also, an artist!! She is a dog lover and recently engaged!!!

David Ehman

David Ehman

Bio Coming Soon!

Farah Griffin

Farah Griffin

Bio Coming Soon!

James Morell

James Morell

James Morell has been a part of the Above the Barre family for more than fifteen years. His parents enrolled him into gymnastics when he was four years old and stuck with the sport until he was seventeen. He competed men’s gymnastics on all six of the men’s events. He was a state champion on multiple events several times; he qualified for the regional competitions and even placed at those regional competitions. After he stopped competing, he became a part time coach for the boy’s classes and team which he successfully still coaches now. James coach’s boys (ages 4-12) on how to follow directions, work well with others and how to perform gymnastics skills.

Jeff Vacha

Jeff Vacha

Jeff has spent over 30 years in this building and has been a coach here since 2008. He was a college gymnast at the University of Illinois in Chicago and has been coaching since 1997. Jeff loves this sport and everything it does for children’s strength, confidence and most importantly, having fun. He is USAG Safety Certified and is actually a registered professional disc golfer. In his free time, he loves to snowboard and throw Frisbees.

Joanne Fornaro

Joanne Fornaro

Joanne has been coaching Gymnastics for over 28 years and hold a degree in Sports Medicine and Dance. During this time, she has coached to local, State, Regional and National titles in AAU and USAG sanctioned competitions in levels 3 – 10 in both team and individual events. Joanne has also produced several National TOP’s team members. In addition to private club, she has also coached high school gymnastics and produced State qualify teams and individuals as well as conference champions. Joanne has earned numerous coaching awards including, “Medina Country Coach of the Year” and “Pioneer Conference Coach of the Year.” She is a professional member of USA Gymnastics, Amateur Athletic Union and holds a number of coaching and judging certifications through USAG University. Joanne is also USAG Safety, CPR and AED certified. She is happily married with three children that also train here at Above the Barre in the Dance and Gymnastics programs. Her passion is right here at ATB working with our awesome coaching staff and training her students to become wonderful athletes.

Joe Zitriki

Joe Zitriki

Joe is currently a student at Cleveland State University working towards becoming a Physical Therapist. He earned his Black Belt in karate at age 15 and later started parkour and tricking. He soon became a tumbling coach and has continued ever since 2010. Since then he has added break dancing, martial arts weapons training (such as double nunchucks, bo staff, rope dart), popping/animation, and capoeira to his list of skills. He has participated in competitive cheerleading and has also cheered for CSU. He has coached at Camp Woodward with world famous athlete Kie Willis as well as Ohio Cheer Explosion, Tracy’s Karate Studio, Caliber Dance Company and Steel City Parkour. Joe is a former Pararescue Candidate in the U.S. Air Force Special Operations, and is also a certified Personal training by the American Council on Exercise. Joe is exceptionally well rounded and is willing to help anyone achieve their goals no matter what they might be.

John Grabowski

John Grabowski

Bio Coming Soon!

Kim Bonghyun

Kim Bonghyun

Kim Bonghyun has accomplished more than most throughout his lifetime in the sport. He competed in the 1996 Olympic games, and the 1995 & 1997 World Championship. Kim participated in the 2005 & 2006 World Championships as a Korean National Team Coach. 2014 Level 10 National Championship AA Champion Olivia Karas bar specialist and produced many State and Regional champions since 2010. Kim developed his talent further by achieving a PH.D of Sports and Leisure Studies in Yonsei University in Korea 2008. He has a Masters degree of Science in Physical Education in KNSU (Major: Sport Marketing) and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in KSU (Major: Physical Education)( 1994.3-1998.2). We are very proud to have him in our program since May 2016. Kim works both with our boys and girls program while training our staff to further their knowledge in the sport. His passion for gymnastics continues to show in his coaching and his love for watching his gymnasts succeed. Kim has three children that take classes here and in his spare time he is always with his family!

Mallory Morell

Mallory Morell

Mallory was put in gymnastics at the age of 3 and spent her whole career at Thome- Ohio Gymnastics which turned into Above The Barre. At eleven years old she was the 2009 Level 8 All- Around State Champion. Mallory has also been a regional qualifier and attended several regional competitions. As a gymnast she attended many regional camps and have worked with the best coaches in our area. She ended her gymnastics career as a level 9 gymnast training level 10 and has been coaching at Above The Barre for four years. Here she coaches children from ages two to thirteen. Mallory loves having the opportunity to share her passion for gymnastics with her students and helping them achieve their goals. She is currently a freshman at Ohio University, majoring in nursing. Every time she is on break from school she is in the gym coaching and cannot wait to be back!

Meghan Riley

Meghan Riley

Coach Meghan started here at ATB in June 2016; however, she started training at Above the Barre in 2015, as well as training 13 years prior. She was introduced to gymnastics at the age of 3 when her parents signed her up for a class. Meghan grew a passion for gymnastics and was a part of the Magnificat High School Gymnastics Team all 4 years. All of Meghans training brought her to ATB where she “improved on every event including front handspring front tucks, clear hips and especially bars”. Since she is not competing anymore, her love of teaching has only grown. Coach Meghan loves teaching and helping kids accomplish the goals they want to reach as well as having fun. “ATB is so special because everyone wants the best for all the students and wants them to succeed”. Meghan is currently a student at Baldwin Wallace University majoring in Healthcare.

Morgan Dwulat

Morgan Dwulat

Coach Morgan first join the ATB Family in August of 2015. Her love for Gymnastics started at the age of 3 when her parents signed her sister and her up for a pre-school gymnastics class. She stayed with the sport, training all the way up to Optional Level and cheerleading; tumbling being her favorite area. “I enjoy teaching because I love to see kids advance in a sport they are passionate about. It’s great to see them get so excited over a new skill. Our students are always so determined to get better and better themselves”, says Coach Morgan. Currently, she is finishing her second year of college at Tri-C and soon transferring to Cleveland State to finish her bachelors in Forensic Criminology. Fun fact, Morgan is a triplet and loves run, shop, and hang out with her friends.

Nate Geffert

Nate Geffert

Nate has been coaching gymnastics for over 17 years. During this time he has coached both private club and high school teams, coaching to State and Regional titles in both team and individual events. Nate joined the ATB family in 2012 and has coached men’s and women’s gymnastics at levels 3-9 as well as Xcel and recreational classes. He is a professional member of USA Gymnastics and holds a number of coaching certificates through USAG University including Safety and Risk Management and Junior Olympic Development Coach Certification. His passion is helping students to not only become better gymnasts, but also become better all-around people. Nate is married and has a 2 year old daughter who loves spending time at the gym as much as her daddy.

Nico Oliveros

Nico Oliveros

Bio Coming Soon!

Sam Caspio

Sam Caspio

Bio coming soon!

Phil Krakowski

Phil Krakowski

Phil Karwoski started working at ATB May of 2018 He coaches Optional Girls Levels 6-10 Phil was a competitive Gymnast from 1982-1992 Has been coaching for the past 23 years, all levels from Preschool to Level 10. He loves the summer heat, Astronomy, woodworking and gardening.

Tessa Wieneke

Tessa Wieneke

Bio coming soon!

Tommy Case

Tommy Case

Tommy Case was born and raised in Mentor, Ohio and has a background in martial arts tricking. Tommy has been training and traveling with this sport for over 6 years. He decided that coaching would be an amazing fit for his lifestyle, spreading his love for movement and everything he knows about it has became a passion of his. Tommy is excited to continue coaching at Above the Barre, seeing plenty of new faces, and most importantly, plenty of progression!

Thomas Stoops

Thomas Stoops

Tom Stoops started at ATB in May of 2017. He currently coaches the Boys AAU team. Tom has coached boys and girls for the past 30 years He plays the drums and was a gymnast while in college at Ohio State University.

Vocal and Acting

ATB Vocal Coaching brings years of education and experience.

Amy Hanraty

Amy Hanraty

Amy Hanratty holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts Degree. Her passion for teaching and coaching has allowed her to motivate and support clients of all ages in fulfillment of their performance goals. Amy is a highly sought after Master Teacher in all aspects of Vocal & Acting performance. She has directed shows and has performed many principal roles in musical theater and opera. Amy conducts training intensives nationally in both vocal and acting disciplines. Specialty areas include: vocal development, surviving the vocal change, combined/mixed voice technique, breathing techniques, Eleforte technique, audition workshops, monologue development, commercials, Voice-Over Acting, overall vocal improvement techniques, and vocal therapy for both the singer and actor. As the Founder and Artistic Director of "Voice Variations" for over 15 years, Amy has instructed and directed vocal and acting development, technique and critique for students, theaters and organizations. She hosts Broadway Master Classes for Broadway actors, conducts classes, and workshops to assist performers in support of their goals.